Beautiful Ugly

Claire Greyson has been scarred for life after a house fire. One side of her face has third degree burns. That will not heal. After she is proved right that nobody will ever treat her the same ever again after she is turned down for her school production, she is pushed over the edge. And wakes up in hospital after overdosing on pills.
She is convinced that one one will ever be able to see past her ugly scars.


2. First day back at school

Taking a deep breath, I stumble to the double swing doors which lead into the corridoor where all the 'excitement awaits'. This corridoor is strictly year 11's tutor rooms, and as it's the final year, there's a chill corner in which all the populars hang out. Unfortunately, this chill corner is right next to my form room, so no chance of diving quickly into the saftey of an empty form room then. I'm really early, and the populars are always really early, which is shocking really, as they must get up at six to shovel on the make up and hair gel they always seem to wear. I'd forgotten that the 'populars' were the early birds of the school in my rush to get here early so I could have half an hour to practice my lines for my audition. My audition! Last night, I'd stood in front of the mirror, forcing myself to look and not be sick. It was hard, every time I looked at my reflection, it was like a bucket of freezing ice had been dumped on me. I still couldn't get used to it. But I forced myself to stand in front of the mirror for half and hour, repeating what my doctor had told me. The more I looked, the sooner I'd get used to it.

Now, as I stand shaking with fear and nerves in front of the double swing doors all the confidence and 'I can do this' energy I'd tried so hard to build up yesterday slipped away from me like sand through my fingers. I realized that whilst I may not have been their favorite person before the fire, now there was every chance they would use this as an excuse to start picking on me. And I didn't even have Lucy and Vicky with me, to form a shield against the hurtful words and snide comments they'd  no doubt throw at me.

"Come on!" I muttered. "Just walk past them and into your form room." I jumped up and down a bit on the spot and then I pushed open the doors quickly before I changed my mind and scuttled into the library, where I would stay for the rest of the day. Too quickly. The double doors smash into the wall, causing everyone to turn their heads. For a second, time stops, and each and every one of them gasp in horror at me, at my face. Then they turn back and start whispering. This is even worse than I thought. If they'd started making remarks then I could have just gone into my form room and ignored them. But they can't even talk to me, it's like they are repulsed to look at me a second longer. I whip past them, my eyes brimming with fat, hot tears that threaten to spill over and reveal how fragile and vulnerable I'm feeling. I stagger into the class just in time, and collapse onto my desk, which is just by the door. I don't know why I chose to sit right by the door, I usually sit at the back, and just read a book so people know not to bother me, but it's a feeling of being able to run out as soon as trouble arises, to escape, that perhaps causes me to pick this particular seat.

Throughout tutor time, I keep my eyes fixed on the door, as if it were an emergency exit, and bolt out of my seat as soon as the bell rings. I cannot stand to be in this room any longer. The hushed silences of the people sitting around me are just too agonising. But it's like running from the lion pit into a bear cage. I realise that the classroom was like a safe haven compared to the bustling loudness of the corridor, and worse still, the shocked whispers and disgusted glares as soon as they catch a glimpse of the freak show. Me.

I don't know how I manage to make it through the day, maybe it's the thought of the audition, and how I'd made up my mind that whatever problems there were today, I would do it. There was no choice. Either give up, or keep trying. I didn't want to give up yet, because that same little kid inside me who had so many hopes and dreams was still there, begging me to keep doing this. I couldn't let myself down, I couldn't simply curl up and die without trying first. This audition wasn't just an audition anymore, it wasn't just simply a case of whether I would get a part. It was whether or not I still had hope, in this society where people cared so so much about looks.

I walk into the auditorium, a sense of power radiating around me. Surely there were people out there who cares about the inside, who would bother to see past the outside and bother to find out who I was, inside. I wasn't just a girl who had scars, just like an anorexic person was not their illness. I was Claire, with or without this new skin. I was still me, and I believed that Miss Janet would give me a chance. She was nice, and she had always encouraged me to be more confident. Surely she knew how much this audition meant to me more than anyone else? I could get that part, if I really tried. I knew I could.

I sit down next to another girl waiting in line. She is too engrossed in the script to bother looking at me. I mentally go through my lines as well. I'd practised them for weeks, since I'd come out of hospital. All my energy was focused on this. I was word perfect, but I again thought of lots of different ways I could act out the lines, the different feelings I might have. I was going to do the scene where Tallulah meets Bugsy, and she tells him she likes him. The bad news was, Bugsy was gonna be Fred Mahone, the hottest guy in year 11, and it just seemed a joke me telling Fred that I liked him. I kick myself. If I were to have any chance of getting this part, then I needed to get rid of these thoughts. What did it matter anyway? I didn't even know Fred that well, and anyway, it wasn't as if I actually fancied him or something. It was just a play. But I find myself stressing anyway. What were people gonna think when I stepped up onto that stage? Would they laugh because it was a joke I even thought I had a chance of getting even a choir part? Or worse, would they feel sorry for me, and mutter among themselves how I was so brave, or something like that? These thoughts just kept on coming and by the time I stepped up onto the stage I was so nervous I thought I was gonna have to ask Miss Janet if I could possibly audition another day. But I wouldn't have that chance. No one was gonna let me, especially if they thought I wouldn't have a part anyway. This was my one chance, and I couldn't afford to give it anything other than my very best.

I walk forwards, and as I did so, I felt this anger creep up inside me. These people, all smiling pityingly at me, they didn't have a clue what I was going through. All of them had a fair chance at getting the lead part. No matter how badly they acted, at least they got through the first obstacle of not being judged on looks. Me, I was left struggling, with no one to offer me any help. Well, I didn't need any sympathetic looks, or 'You tried you best'. I was gonna act so much better than anyone ever did, and dare them to not give me a part. I was gonna do my best, and I know I sound so arrogant, but my best was just as good as any of those perfect girls with perfect lives and perfect voices. I could sing, my voice was clear and strong, and I'd gotten an A in my last drama peice when there had only been two of us with A's. I look up and see Fred waiting on the other side of the stage looking at me. All my hurt and hope and fears went into my audition. I put all my passion and longing and impatience for a better future into my emotion, and my singing.

At the end of my audition, everyone clapped, and Miss Janet was at the front, clapping and cheering. I smiled for the first time in months, since the fire. And I honestly thought that my dream was about to begin.

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